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Immigration is a privilege

So, I recently got my green card renewed without restrictions (Yay, I’m legal until 2020!), and I couldn’t help but think about the ways different forms of privilege I enjoy helped me through this process.  This became especially apparent when I didn’t have to go in for a second interview with INS–I got my renewal in the mail.

Firstly, I’m a white Canadian.  ‘Nuff said.

Money.  I’m sure most of you are already aware of this, but immigrating is not cheap.  We spent at least a grand two years ago for my adjustment of status to resident alien–this includes not just the fees for filing (which went up soon after) but also a retainer for a lawyer, fees for a medical checkup and biometrics, and probably a few other minor things I’m forgetting about.  It cost us another $500 for the renewal, including another round of biometrics.  We could have possibly skipped the lawyer, but we wanted to be sure we did everythign right–the process can be confusing, and it’s not always easy to figure out just what is required of you.

A good job.  Not me, my husband.  First of all, we had to prove that we were financially positioned to support ourselves (this one nearly bit us in the butt from lack of a cosigner, but thankfully the process took longer than expected, so he could get his taxes filed for his first year out of university).  Secondly, he had to take time off ...

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